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Catalina 310 history questions

May 31, 2004
12
- - Victoria
I’ve expanded my search for a used boat to include the 315, 310 and 309. So I have a few questions about the 310 that someone familiar with the production history might be able to answer. Here goes.
-When did the rig change from a traditional mainsail to a furling main? It looks like perhaps 2004.
-Reviewing the archives, I’ve noticed a lot of discussion of jamming problems with the original furling main - which I think was made by Charleston Spars. We’re these ever resolved? Was there a shift to Selden spars at some point?
Was there a shift from foam to innerspring mattresses at some point in the production run?
-Is there a general consensus that the headroom is 6’2” all through the cabin including the head and forward berth area?
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,566
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
-Is there a general consensus that the headroom is 6’2” all through the cabin including the head and forward berth area?
The headroom on the 310 is about 6'. My neighbor's 320 was more like 6'2". I don't know about the 309 or 315. Good luck on your search.
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,694
Catalina 310 211 RoseLeigh Lake Guntersville, AL
Based on my research furling main was an option on the 310, not a change. I believe a 315 is furling main and fractional rig.

The inner spring queen was always a 310 feature. The cabin and real bed sold the 310 to my wife, it was the closest to 40+ foot boats she really loved, just in a much more affordable size. We bought the 310 for the cash we planned for the down payment on a new Jeannue 440.
 
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Mar 6, 2008
273
Catalina 310 Scott Creek, VA
I am 6' tall with no shoes on. Head room is more than 6' only under the companionway slider. The remainder is about 5' 11.5". I went to the boat show in Annapolis and thought the 310 had standing headroom for me, only to find out later that winter when looking at a new boat in the yard that was being commissioned for someone else that I hit my head everywhere. This was because of the no shoes policy at the show, but not in the yard in winter. Still a great boat, and I eventually bought one.
 
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Jan 17, 2013
319
Catalina 310 St. Simons Island, GA
The previous, original owner of hull #1 (1999) had the rig replaced in 2006 to have IMF. It is Charleston spars and while it is possible to jam this system (or I suppose any IMF system), in my 20 years experience using IMF, jams are typically a result of user error.
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,566
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
The previous, original owner of hull #1 (1999) had the rig replaced in 2006 to have IMF. It is Charleston spars and while it is possible to jam this system (or I suppose any IMF system), in my 20 years experience using IMF, jams are typically a result of user error.
:plus:My dock mate has a C350 with IMF, and spent most of last season trying to get it to work. After I saw three visits by professional riggers to his boat, and many boat bucks go down the drain, I suggested he and I play with the rigging ourselves. Using all the suggestions I have read about on this forum concerning IMF, we were able to get his system in good working order. Needless to say, he is not a member of the forum. :banghead:
 
Mar 8, 2011
25
Catalina 310 Oriental, NC
I have a 2004 with IMF and have had zero problems. Follows directions and they work great. I've reefed and rolled up in all conditions and no problems yet. The 310 are great sailboats.
 
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May 31, 2004
12
- - Victoria
Thanks for the helpful replies. Good news on the inner spring mattress but discouraging news on the headroom. I am a bit more than 6’2” and shrinking yearly. I’ve been on a 315 and can cope with the 6’2” headroom but I think 5’11.5” would be a bridge too far for my lower back. Too bad, because I love the couple oriented design of the boat. I’ve owned a 320 and a 34mkii for a total of 25 years combined and I’m looking for a different and slightly smaller (in length and weight) Catalina for my last years on the water.

And thanks for the reassurance on the IMF. I love the simplicity and off the wind drive of a traditional main and I’m a huge fan of the Dutchman system But almost all later Catalinas have IMF and I don’t want to be put off by internet scare stories. So I’ll try to get some info on the headroom in the 309 and see if it should remain on my wish list.

All of this is wishful thinking at the moment since the corona virus has pretty much brought the buying and selling of boats to a halt. its hard to observe social distance in the cockpit or saloon of a 32 ft sailboat.
 
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JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,694
Catalina 310 211 RoseLeigh Lake Guntersville, AL
I only have a few years of actual sailboat ownership but in that short time I have changed my ideas on what "I" need. If I was shopping for a perfect boat for us it would be IMF, self tacking jib, bow thruster in a 40+ size very new boat. This config would keep my workload minimized and my wife in perfect comfort, which is always important for a happy life!
 
Aug 21, 2019
28
Catalina 315 Grosse Pointe Park, MI
I was skeptical about in-mast furling when I was shopping for a new boat. But, after spending the last half of the season last year using it, I have come to really like it. I did have one jam that I managed to quickly un-jam it using the reefing mechanism on the mast. I think as long as you do not force it and make the jam worse, you can fix any problem with some common sense. Also, I have read that that many of the problems happen if the sails are worn and baggy. So sails probably have to be replaced more often. On my previous boat, I was caught in a nasty squall and was unable to completely drop my traditional main sail due to the intense wind conditions. So, in my experience the in-mast furler is certainly no worse in bad weather.

I will say that, while I like the Selden main sail furler, I am not as thrilled about the Selden head sail furler. For reasons I will enumerate, if requested, it is a poor design.
 
Dec 25, 2008
1,533
catalina 310 Elk River
Never had a problem with mine. Lighter weight cloth is a plus. Also halyard tension is key as well. Too much and you load the bearings unnecessarily, too little and the luff will wrinkle and have folds that propagate as you roll making the entire roll fatter. When rolling in it is good to have some light wind while on Starboard almost into the wind. The more wind, sail closer, but keep it from flogging. Keep the traveler just off center to port and have the main sheet snug, but not too tight. No load on the topping lift. Not sure what the official directions are, but this has worked very well for me over the years.
 

KZW

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May 17, 2014
682
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Charleston Spar made the in mast fuller. The early 310s with IMF had an adjustable boom vang. Problems furling were experienced when the vang was erroneously adjusted by the owner to make the boom level while furling. The aft end of the boom must be significantly above horizontal to make the IMF work correctly. Late in the production run the rigid vang adjustability was removed. I have one of these boats, sail 307, made in 2005. The only way to adjust the vang is pull a pin and rotate the barrel by hand. It is very difficult to adjust the boom down when the main is out. The purpose was to set the correct boom angle for the IMF and leave it alone. I messed with it during the first two years of ownership. I've now set it and forget it. This is a cruising boat, not a racing boat.

The advantage is it is easy to reef the main and it is all done from the cockpit. That is handy because my boat, with the wing keel, needs to be reefed going to weather when the wind gets to 15 knots.

As stated above, light wind on starboard does help while furling. Lubricating the outhaul track also helps. That being said, the Charleston Spar is not an elegant IMF implementation. It also leaks rain into the bilge when the wind is aft.

If I had it to to over I would get a conventional main with batten and drop it into a stack pack.
 
Dec 29, 2017
27
Catalina 310 Aww Shucks Middle River
I would concur with KZW - only one significant issue with getting IMF main back in and it was absolutely due to my messing with boom vang setting. I’ve learned my lesson and kept it set. And would also agree on original head sail Selden furler - has to be a perfect technique to ensure tight wrap. Took me a long time to get that right. Looking forward to seeing photos of the fix associated with bilge water - I need to keep the pump on during winter months to keep water out

C310 Hull 198.